I first came across the poem below in Celia Hunt & Fiona Sampson’s book, Writing: self & reflexivity


Something is stopping me

from writing this poem

about myself.

It’s my mother

watching the page

judging my self-indulgence

or not wanting to see

sadness blotting

the smooth surface.

It’s feeling that

Me and I

are such big words

to commit myself to

in proud print.

It’s thinking

those words

aren’t really


So I’m not going out there

on the page


I’ll just stay here instead.

by Anonymous 

The words ‘Something is stopping me from writing …’ indicate the nagging feeling that torments me when I circle the notebook, like a dog before getting into bed, over and over and do so many other things except put butt on seat and pen to paper. I know I’m writing this post right now, but otherwise here’s a list of what seems to be stopping me from writing today.

  • it’s raining
  • the plumber has left, the bathroom is in a mess and I don’t know when he will be back
  • I need another cup of tea
  • Twitter needs checking, just for a second
  • the fridge needs cleaning
  • I don’t know if I should tidy up the books on the floor
  • I have a visitor coming tomorrow night
  • should I order a book online or check my local library
  • I’ve just heard that the plumber is definitely not coming back today

Dare I go to the page alone? And I know that when I start to write I find that I am not alone at all! The tricks that the mind plays on us all.

What is stopping you from writing today?

If you are reading this today you are still in time to book for the last place on my last public workshop for 2012. It’s on next Sunday, 25th November in Carrick-on-Suir and you will find the details here

And nothing will stop any of us from writing on that day. This is something I can guarantee!

2 responses

  1. There is something so helpful in the way you’re ending these posts with a question…a gentle nudge each time. After reading your post yesterday, I made a collage card for a friend, wrote an overdue note and tucked it inside, and mailed it off. What was stopping me before I read your question? It doesn’t matter now…Thanks, Margaret!

    1. Thank you Patricia – and it’s one lucky person who is on the receiving end of a collage card from you 😉

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